Everybody gather round and get ready to sing. Ready? One, two, three: Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday Sega Dreamcast, happy birthday to you!
Oh wait, you’re dead? Oh, well this is kind of depressing now. Way to bring the mood down, Dreamcast.
That’s right, twelve years ago today, Sega introduced to the world the Dreamcast. It was a console that was a bit ahead of its time, being the first console to have a built-in modem to allow gamers to connect to the internet, and the first to have a dedicated server for online multiplayer. Its games were the first to ever include downloadable content with Phantasy Star Online and Skies of Arcadia, popularized cell-shading with Jet Set Radio, introduced an open world style environment with Shenmue, and created the virtual pet genre on consoles with Seaman.
Sega keeps the dream of the Dreamcast alive by releasing titles on Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network. We’ll still always miss that crazy controller and quirky little accessories, like the VGA adapter that allowed games to be played in high definition. The support and features of the Dreamcast would have made it impressive if it dropped in 2006, but it beat the curve by too much and got left in the dust.
We miss you Dreamcast. Happy 12th Birthday!